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Crystal Castles at Ultra Music Festival 2011 Day Three, March 27

Crystal Castles

Ultra Music Festival's Live Stage 

March 27, 2011

Better Than: David Guetta at Ultra's Main Stage. 

Alice Glass is so adorable. She's so damn cute and Canadian I just want to pour maple syrup all over her skinny indie frame and eat her up like a mountain of French toast. But that'd be cannibalism, and no matter how fucking wild a Crystal Castles set may get, eating another human being is totally not cool.

You know what is cool, though? A group of shirtless bros hoisting a dude in a wheelchair high above the crowd during Crystal Castles' set last night. It was a beautiful display of bleep-bleep-bloop-bloop camaraderie.

Best seat in the house
Best seat in the house
Victor Gonzalez

Who else didn't let a physical disability prevent them from

raging during Crystal Castles? That'd be Alice Glass, of course. According to

Carles of HipsterRunOff.com, she broke her ankle in January. But rather than

canceling shows, the lead singer's been using a crutch during performances

to help her get around.

I would've loved the opportunity to snap better pictures of

her and the band. But I was super disappointed to find the following sign at the

photo pit entrance.

Crystal Castles at Ultra Music Festival 2011 Day Three, March 27
Victor Gonzalez

Well, I broke those rules and took some video of Alice and Ethan Kath dropping some heavy beats on the tweaked-out Ultra crowd. You'll find them at the bottom of this post. But first, a quick recap.

It had been about two years since I last saw Crystal Castles live. I was in Brooklyn for a New Year's Eve concert at Music Hall of Williamsburg. The show was raw, super in-your-face-gonna-give-you-nightmares-forever type of shit, which was fine. But I think I prefer this decade's more polished, let's-collaborate-with-Robert-Smith Crystal Castles.

For one, Glass' vocals are bit more refined, and rather than just hearing noise, you're able to make out some of her lyrics. She's also toned down her bizarre stage antics. Sure, there was crowd-surfing, and crazed dancing. But overall, Glass seems to be taking her career a bit more seriously these days.

And from my vantage point, I think I even saw her smile. But the highlight of the night was when the duo performed "Empathy," off its latest self-tited album. The song's got an incredible Miami freestyle sound that would work perfectly as part of a Power 96 traffic jam if pop radio was willing to expand its horizons beyond Stevie B.

Sadly, Robert Smith did not make an appearance.

Now, some illegal videos.





Critic's Notebook

The Crowd: Indie-electro nuts.

Overheard in the Crowd: "I love this music." (Monotone. No exclamation point.)

Personal Bias: I

Partial Setlist:

"Crimewave"

"Baptism"

"Not in Love"

"Empathy"

"Celestica"

"Untrust Us"

"Alice Practice"

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